Saturday, September 8, 2012


threnody [ˈθrɛnədi] n.

1.) A song of lamentation; specifically a lament for the dead, a dirge.

Etymology: adaptation of Greek θρηνῳδία, dirge, from θρῆνος, threne + ᾠδή, song.

"Electra attains twofold intensity by its portrayal of grief and then intrigue. The first half of the action reviews Electra's compulsive threnody. It is not so much that mourning becomes Electra as it is that Electra becomes mourning: she apologizes to the chorus for her undending refrains
Dear women! I am ashamed to have you think
my laments are too many, my grief too much;
but since I cannot help it, please forgive me."
(Sophocles: King Oedipus, David R. Slavitt and Palmer Bovie (eds.), 1999).

(Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon, Frederic Leighton, 1869)


Debra She Who Seeks said...

The other big example of someone lost in threnody is Queen Victoria who mourned for decades after Prince Albert died.

D4 said...

I think I enjoy this word a little too much

Meri said...

this is a weird word- it doesn't sound like what it means at all.

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